TU/e and Dutch tech sector join hands: working together on smart AI applications
TU/e wants to involve the business community at an early stage in the development of new applications of artificial intelligence (AI). Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form the backbone of our economy, but so far hardly reap the benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI). To help each other, EAISI, the new TU/e AI institute, and FME, the association of entrepreneurs in the Dutch tech industry, are now joining forces. On Tuesday 29 October, during the AI in Engineering Symposium at the TU/e, an agreement was signed to make applied AI research accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises.
Both parties hope that the agreement (pdf, Dutch) will lower the threshold for SMEs to cooperate with a knowledge institution. This can be done in special labs, where companies, researchers and students work together to solve a concrete problem. TU/e also wants to make the knowledge that is being developed at EAISI more accessible to entrepreneurs, so that it can be applied immediately in practice.
TU/e rector magnificus Frank Baaijens sees the signing as an important step in the TU/e efforts to involve the business community at an early stage in the development of new applications of AI. Albert van Breemen, who works for the High Tech Systems Center and EAISI, is also pleased with the collaboration. "FME offers TU/e access to an extensive network of companies in the high-tech sector, and can indicate what SMEs need in the short and long term".
FME consists of 2200 companies and 45 trade associations. For FEM director Karsten Klein the cooperation with TU/e represents a logical step. "The University of Technology in Eindhoven is a very interesting party for us, because the AI research here is specifically about AI in Engineering. Our goal is to make the thorough research that takes place here, applicable to the companies we represent".
The agreement was signed during the AI in Engineering Symposium that took place on Tuesday at the TU/e. Prominent speakers from IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Google, among others, gave their views on the development of AI. They also explained how they help companies with software and expertise to get started with AI without the need for specialist knowledge.
The common thread in the presentations was the observation we are on the eve of a new AI revolution, in which artificial intelligence will play a key role in industry, including applications in smart mobility, distribution and logistics, preventive maintenance of windmills and aircraft engines, and the management of oil platforms. Among some people this development might raise concerns, but in his opening speech EAISI director Carlo van de Weijer put these fears into perspective. "The robots are really not going to take over. They will only be doing some of the boring stuff for us. The most important challenge for humans is that we don't become robots ourselves."
Are you interested in the developments in AI and Data Science at TU/e? On November 12th, TU/e hosts the annual Data Science Summit, with interesting speakers from the world of science and industry, and a panel on responsible data science.